BKS Iyengar Dies Aged 95

BKS Iyengar passed away early this morning, he had been unwell for several weeks and was admitted to hospital last week.  He suffered Kidney failure and a heart attack.  I pay respect to Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar and his loved ones. In writing about him I am filled with joy, a light from within for all he achieved in sharing and spreading the teachings of yoga across the world.  This is a phenominal feat of achievement which has touched, helped to improve and heal the lives of many. I pay respect and gratitude to a man who lived and devoted his life to…

Navasana – Boat Posture (Modified)

Pronounced NAH-VAHS-anna, nava means boat.  This is boat posture (modified). This posture is found in the seated sequence of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (primary series). It is recommended to seek the guidance and supervision of a qualified yoga teacher when practicing yoga postures. Sitting on a yoga mat, pull the flesh away from under the sit bones.  Lift the pelvic floor up.  Lift in the lower back.  Lengthen the spine vertebrae by vertebra with the top of the head reaching towards the sky.  The shoulders are broad, with the shoulder blades reaching down the back towards the waist. Inhale, drawing the navel up…

Prasarita Padottanasana A – Feet Spread Out Intense Stretch Posture A

Pronounced pra-SAH-ree-tah pah-doh-tan-AHS-anna, meaning feet spread out intense stretch posture. This posture is found in the standing sequence of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and is one of 4 in the Prasarita Padottansasana series, A-D. It is recommended to seek the guidance and supervision of a qualified yoga teacher when practicing yoga postures. Standing at the front of the yoga mat in Tadasana (Mountain Posture), inhale stepping the right foot towards the back of the mat.  This is a wide step with the outer edges of the feet parallel.  The feet are firmly rooted into the ground.  Do not lock the knees.  The arms…

modified side angle posture in yoga

Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle Posture (Modified)

Pronounced oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna, this is Extended Side Angle Posture. This posture is found in the early stages of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga standing sequence.  Here I will discuss a modified version of this posture which does not require props. It is recommended to seek the guidance and supervision of a qualified yoga teacher when practicing yoga postures. Begin by standing at the front of a yoga mat in mountain posture (tadasana).  The pelvic floor and bandhas are engaged – with the navel pulling inwards, towards the spine. On an inhale, take a wide step, stepping the right foot towards the back of the mat, with…

Utkatasana, fierce, powerful pose, yoga

Utkatasana – Fierce Posture

Pronounced OOT-Kah-Tahs-anna, Utkata means powerful or fierce. This posture is found in the standing sequence of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It is recommended to seek the guidance and supervision of a qualified yoga teacher when practicing yoga postures. Utkatasana is entered into with an inhale.  The feet are firmly rooted into the ground, with the toes, ankles and knees touching.  The sit bones (two bony points in the bottom) are reaching towards the ground (as if sitting on a low chair).  The pelvic floor and bandhas are engaged – with the navel pulling inwards, towards the spine. Whilst keeping this foundation,…

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

The Primary series of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is called yoga chikitsa, translated simply as yoga therapy.  In combination with its healing elements, yoga chikitsa is designed to ground practitioners in the key elements of breath, drishti (focus), vinyasa (flow) and bandhas, building a strong foundation from which the practice of future series may grow (there are 6 altogether).  Regular practice of yoga chikitsa has a cleansing and toning effect on the body and mind.   In yoga philosophy the body comprises of thousands of nadis.  Nadis can be thought of as a stream or channel through which prana (life force) travels. …

Asana Explored

Raja yoga is the science of the mind and its primary text, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provides that the goal of yoga is ‘chitta vritti nirodhah’.  Translated from Sanscript this means ‘restraint of the modifications of the mind stuff.’ Patanjali divides yoga practice into 8 stages or limbs, known as Ashtanga or eight –limbed yoga.  Each are of equal value, are necessary and should be maintained in yoga. The 3rd limb is called ‘asana’, which Patanjali defines as ‘comfortable and steady posture’.  This can be any posture, whether standing, sitting or lying down that one can maintain in comfort for…

broccli, pasta, food, recipe, italy, sardinia, cook, vegetarian

Sardinian Broccoli Pasta – it’s yum

One of the great things I have found about group yoga classes, is that it is a wonderful way to meet new people and share in diverse cultures.  One of my fellow Ashatanga yogini’s is Sardinian and she once prepared lunch for me after class.  We went to her home where she made Broccoli Pasta and explained it’s frequently made back home, in Sardinia.  I had never tried Broccoli with pasta before, but what I enjoyed about this meal, was that it was full of flavour, easy to make after a yoga class, needed few ingredients and was very wholesome….

yoga postures, vinyasa, jumping, floating, flying

Ryan Spielman Video on How to Jump back and Jump through

Really enjoyed Ryan Spielman’s short teaching video on how to jump back and jump through, which is a frequent part of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga.  Yes, this technique is certainly a journey which may often lead to a shared grin between neighbouring yogini’s in class.  Some call it flying and when you first experience the feeling of this technique working it certainly feels like that – albeit to ones surprise. Ryan shares three stages suitable for beginner to advanced level with both crossed and straight legs.  The stages help to help build core and upper body strength, technique and enable the…